My partner Shelley and I are so grateful to have been recommended Nadine and She Births.
My joy of finding out we were expecting our daughter Eden quickly turned to fear and anxiety for me about the labour and birth, I was fearful to say the least! I remember a few stages early on in the pregnancy where I physically felt nervous when I thought about the birth, my expectations were low, and I thought I would suffer immensely. Despite these feelings, I hoped for a natural birth. I was terrified of the thought of being induced, having an epidural and worst of all a Caesarean (so basically there was a LOT of fear).
I think the most reassuring parts of She Births for Shelley and I was that Nadine incorporates medical knowledge with meditation, yoga and spirituality. No one has ever told me they went to a birthing class where they learned in depth each stage of labour, what it feels like, what to expect and how to manage contractions with meditation and breathing. We learned all of this with She Births. When the time came I physically and mentally knew what to expect and there was absolutely no fear.
Eden had been in the perfect position the week leading up to her due date, but during prelabour at home we could tell something wasn’t quite right. The contractions were all in my lower back, often the pain difficult to manage and contractions were very erratic, sometimes a few minutes apart and next a whole hour. Had I not done the She Births class I would not have known what was going on, but sure enough when we went in for a check with the midwife she confirmed what we had suspected. Eden had turned posterior sometime since our last midwife check up a few days prior. Off we went home armed with our She Births techniques to try to entice Eden to face the right way again! I felt like I had my very own doula in the house! Shelley was so amazing she applied acupressure to points to assist posterior presentation and coached me with my breathing techniques every time there was a contraction. At one point I actually felt Eden twist around and I thought she had gone back into position because the next two contractions felt different! But unfortunately soon after I felt her moving again and it was back to the same contractions in my lower back.
After four days of this I felt in my mind and my body that it was time to leave home and go to hospital and sure enough within half an hour of getting there my waters broke! That’s when the contractions really amped up and I utilised the She Births breathing techniques which helped pain management. I was absolutely exhausted after an hour and having such a long prelabour so we asked for an epidural.
To be honest I didn’t feel like a failure asking for this because I physically knew that my body had taken enough and that I wasn’t going to last during active labour with Eden in posterior presentation. I actually felt empowered that it was my decision to make and had come to it on my own without the coaxing of medical staff.
The J breaths or “coffee plunger” breaths Nadine taught us were perfect when it was time to push. Eden’s heart rate had dropped dramatically so the obstetrician came in to discuss our options. Eden needed to be turned immediately with the vac and I needed to push while it was being done. I remember her saying how calm both Shelley and I were.
I specifically remember her saying how well I was pushing and that she had not seen anyone push that well after an epidural, so I told her about J breathing!
Looking back I can say with honesty that I had no fear throughout the whole labour and birth. Even though Shell & I didn’t have the exact birth experience with Eden that we first planned, we both felt that things would have been really scary for us without the knowledge we gained with She Births. I think it is really important to point out that partners are really involved and informed just as much as the birth mother and are encouraged to have an active role in the labour and birth. Shelley felt really involved and connected with Eden and I throughout. She didn’t feel helpless and helped me to make informed decisions.
Afterwards we were so amazed by how we coped and even though I felt like I’d run a marathon I was able to see how beautiful Eden’s birth had been. I wasn’t unprepared or shocked by the experience because I had been well armed with knowledge and had learned to meditate and breath my way through the difficult stages.
Now we have this amazing, calm little soul in our lives who came into the world with two calm mummas!
Love Bec, Shelley and Eden xxx